Lions Clubs International is known worldwide as one of the forefront leaders in serving the needs of the community. One of the tag lines, which has proven itself to be consistently relevant, is simply; “Where there’s a need, there’s a Lion”
In George, we are fortunate to have two Lions clubs serving the vast needs of the local community – needs that increase from year to year as we face challenging financial times and growing poverty. Just as relevant, is the incredible work done by the members of the Lions Clubs during times of disaster. Lions have led many of the disaster relief campaigns in our region, especially with regards to the devastating fires that dominated our region over the past few years.
The Lions Assistance and Distribution Services project (LADS) has served to aid people affected by disaster since it’s inception during the Knynsa Fires. To date, more than 11 000 people have received aid from LADS, records are kept for every donation made – some of these disasters affect only 1 person, and in other times, scores are affected.
Disasters take many forms, and is not restricted to only the obvious fire, flood and weather related occurrences. Assistance is offered to people affected by severe poverty, victims of crime, and when personal circumstance prove to be overwhelming – such as teen mothers, missing person searches, emergency services support and more. This service is not only offered to individuals, but also via schools, creche’s, hospitals, churches, children’s homes and other service clubs.
LADS is currently housed in one of the cold storage facilities at the old McCains Factory – a space of approx. 700m2 – allowing for the receiving, sorting and distribution of clothing and other items. The need for a relief service that can aid the community responsibly, cannot be understated – secondary disasters are when people, out of genuine care, drop off tons of items for a single family who’s home may have been destroyed in a fire – not realising that much of the clothing is unsuitable and the affected family have no home to place the donated furniture and goods. With LADS, goods are sorted, and only that which is suitable, and at a time when it’s needed, is then provided.
Sadly, the Lions use of this donated facility has come to an end – due to the recent sale of the premises.
By the middle of February 2020, the LADS store needs to be vacated from the premises; leaving very limited choices for this critical project – that has helped so many already.
The Lions need YOUR help – so that LADS does not have to be closed permanently. In order to continue serving the community in times of need, a new facility needs to be found – although a scaled down project can be achieved, at least between 200m2 to 300m2 is essential. Either a sponsored facility will be required, as Lions do not receive funding other than that which is raised through community fund raising project, or a number of businesses, willing to have their name associated to the beneficial project, come forward and pledge a monthly financial contribution to cover the rental of new premises.
Although times are tough, and this may be a big ask – we need to remember that the financial crisis is greater on those in need, and so it is even more important now, to support those who serve the needy. If you, or your business can pledge R2000 a month to this cause, only 5 or 6 pledges will be required to keep LADS alive – and your name will be part of making this difference. If you can help, but can only offer a lesser amount, please do still contact the Lions – every rand will take them closer to the goal.
If you would like to view the current LADS facility, in order to see the great work being done, with a view to supporting this cause, please contact Carl van Blerk on 082 826 0731.